The April 9 killing of 49 Coptic Christian worshippers in two suicide bombings in Tanta and Alexandria was generally portrayed in media outlets as a setback for Egypt‘s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after a triumphant week when he visited the United States, notes Carnegie Endowment analyst Michele Dunne.
“But while the terrorist attacks were a tragic ending, the time that Sisi spent in Washington was far more difficult than reports suggested,” she adds. “Sisi got his photo op but left Washington empty-handed in terms of assistance commitments.”
“And Egyptian assessments of the visit… might well change if it becomes clear that Sisi is unlikely to get any more assistance—and might even get less—from the new administration than he got from Obama,” writes Dunne, a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group. “If Sisi is seen at home as not being able to deliver increased assistance from the United States, this could potentially affect the degree of support he enjoys from his most important constituency—the military—in the coming year as he prepares for another presidential bid in 2018.”
Just one year ago, Mozn, Egypt’s leading contemporary feminist, was first summoned for questioning in connection with a judicial investigation scrutinising over thirty leading Egyptian rights organisations for receiving foreign funding in contravention of a Mubarak-era law regulating NGOs….Yet, on March 25, 2016, there was a palpable sense of celebration and joy in the air as Mozn received her Right Livelihood Award, popularly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” in Cairo at a ceremony attended by over 150 activists, journalists, politicians, diplomats and Egypt’s embattled civil society leaders.